Market research from the comfort of your home! Four ways mobile ethnography can unlock in-depth insights

Did you know that mobile ethnography is an excellent way to observe respondents? Yep: mobile research is discreet, it’s fast, it’s flexible – and because you can offer a range of tasks to keep things interesting, it’s also easy to keep your participants motivated. What’s more, thanks to the technological advances of the last few decades, ethnography can now fit into participants’ lives more easily than ever before and add an unrivalled depth and detail to research. Mobile ethnography for marketing and consumer research is here to stay.

From video diaries to respondents snapping and sharing photos, more and more market research will be taking place using online and digital methodologies in the coming months. Let’s face it – people are bored at home at the moment, and mobile ethno studies are a great way for researchers to continue to unlock insights and for participants to have some fun without having to leave the house. Not convinced? Here are four fantastic ways that mobile ethnography for marketing and consumer research can unlock unbeatable insights… 

It’s easy to share in-depth insights

Consumers today are already comfortable with mobile, making mobile ethnography for marketing and consumer research an easy and effortless way for them to take part and share in-depth insights. People are more comfortable with technology than ever before, and we use smartphones and tablets in all aspects of our daily lives. In fact, 80% of smartphone users check their phones within 15 minutes of waking up! 

Because people are so comfortable with mobile, digital ethnography is a really easy way for respondents to take part in market research – and because they use mobiles every day, you won’t even have to teach them what to do, making mobile ethnography the perfect remote research methodology. What’s more, because it’s so easy for people to take part, you’ll also benefit from high responses rates and high levels of engagement too, so it’s a win-win methodology all round!

Benefit from natural responses

Another great thing about mobile ethnography for marketing and consumer research is that it is unobtrusive. People act differently around researchers, whether the research is face-to-face, they are looking down the lens of a camera or they are speaking into a microphone. But with mobile methods, you can access true insights without any bias.

 It’s human nature to be aware of when we are being observed, but if consumers can record themselves with their own phones, it’s different. They can record and upload footage themselves, and share their experiences in their own words and in their own time – and because people today are used to snapping photos or short videos online every day, mobile ethnography doesn’t disturb their normal routine. All of this means they will be less inclined to modify their behaviour, which means better quality results!

Access feedback in real-time

Another big benefit of mobile ethnography is that you get to see your respondents’ reactions and emotional responses as and when they happen, as opposed to them sharing a distorted recollection a few hours later where they might not remember all the important details. This ability to access responses in real-time means mobile research is a fantastic way for researchers to gather additional insights into what respondents think and feel and why. 

What’s more, it also allows for other emotional responses to seep through, too – and because you can observe respondents in real-time in their natural environment, you can benefit from even more in-depth insights about your participant behaviour and their surroundings. It’s exactly this sort of unfiltered feedback that can really add value to your market research project.

ethnography for marketing and consumer research

Reach more people than ever before 

Finally, mobile research methodologies enable you to reach a wider range of people than ever before. With mobile ethnography, there’s no need to travel, which means you can take on more respondents in more geographically varied locations, giving you a much bigger pool of respondents – which is great if you are working with strict criteria. 

In addition, because you don’t need moderators, equipment or even a venue, you aren’t restricted by the current situation either. The logistical burden is significantly reduced too because you don’t have to find a certain day, time or place that appeals to everyone. And finally, because you aren’t limited by time constraints, you can also cover a wide array of research questions, resulting in more engaged respondents and deeper insights.

When it comes to mobile methodologies, the time is now!

We are facing a challenging time right now, but it doesn’t mean market research has to grind to a halt. In fact, if you were thinking about embracing mobile methodologies, now could be the perfect time to give mobile ethnography for marketing and consumer research a chance! One of the biggest benefits to conducting mobile market research right now is that people have more time to respond to questions and take part in research – which means that not only will you benefit from higher response rates, but you will also enjoy more high-quality results.

At Q2Q Global, some of our clients have actually reported an increase in the quality of answers in the last few weeks as respondents use market research as an escape and take the time to thoroughly respond to questions. So if you’re thinking about using mobile methods in your qualitative research, there’s no time like the present!

How we can help

At Q2Q Global, we are experts in mobile ethnography and have helped big brands conduct mobile market research studies internationally, so if you’re interested in using mobile ethnography in your next market research project, contact us today to find out more and start unlocking in-depth insights.




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